In a 6 to 3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration from enforcing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) COVID 19 vaccine or test requirements. The ruling effectively kills the vaccine or test rule for private employers. The OSHA rule required workers at businesses with more than 100 employees to get vaccinated or submit a negative COVID-19 test each week to their employer in order to enter the workplace. It also required unvaccinated workers to wear masks indoors at work. The ruling comes three days after the emergency measure started to take effect.
The Supreme Court decision is a big victory for small business energy marketers who faced implementing the complicated and controversial rule but are no longer required to comply. In an unsigned opinion, the Court said “Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly”. In addition, “Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category,” the court wrote.
The mandates were the most expansive use of power by the federal government to protect workers from COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Nothing in the Court’s decision prevents a private employer from voluntarily adopting their own vaccine or test program.